cover image The Lost Angel

The Lost Angel

Javier Sierra, trans. from the Spanish by Carlos Frías. Atria, $25.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-4516-3279-8

Set in the near future, this religious thriller from Spanish author Sierra (The Secret Supper) suffers from a lack of a plausible premise. At the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the National Security Agency, operative Nick Allen watches a videotape his boss recently received that shows Kurdish terrorists having abducted scientist Martin Faber, a friend of Allen’s. The NSA agent goes in search of Faber’s wife, whom he soon finds in a cathedral in Galicia, Spain, just in time to save her from a hooded gunman. The attacks on Faber and his wife may tie in to his work, ostensibly studying climate change, near Mount Ararat, the legendary resting place of Noah’s Ark. The quest for that biblical artifact, in turn, connects with Faber’s belief that Elizabethan astrologer John Dee “devised a way to speak to angels.” Improbabilities undercut the author’s efforts to suspend disbelief, in particular U.S. president Chester Arthur’s playing a major role in determining humanity’s destiny. (Oct.)